The third accused person standing trial in the murder of four undergraduates of University of Port Harcourt, Ikechukwu Louis Amadi, also known as ‘Kapoon’, yesterday, admitted in court to using a stick to hit the deceased during the incident on October 2012 at Umuokiri Community, Aluu in Ikwerre local government area of Rivers State.
Amadi admitted to partaking in the incident that led to the death of the students during cross examination in the trial within trial of his statement by the lead prosecutor, Rufus Godwins.
However, before admitting his deed, the accused was dramatic and inconsistent as he grappled to maintain his story.
For over 30 minutes, Amadi held the court to ransom as he refused to admit that he was actually using the Stick to hit the students as shown in the video clip.
He severally told the court that he saw himself in the video using the stick to chase people away from the veranda of his house not hitting the boys. It took the intervention of the trial judge to let him understand that the court meant business before he admitted that he did use the stick to hit the deceased.
The trial judge, Justice Letam Nyordee, had ordered for a trial within trial of the statement of the third accused after his counsel, Legal Aid Counsel, represented by I. M. Briggs, told the court that Amadi was coerced at gun point and induced by the police to sign his statement.
Briggs prayed the court to reject the statement, as it was signed under duress.
In his submissions after cross-examination, Godwins, who is also the state’s solicitor-general, prayed the court to admit the statement relying on Section 135, sub-sections 1 and 136 sub 1, respectively, of the Evidence Act.
He argued that the defence counsel failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that his client was coerced into signing the statement.
Godwins further submitted that the accused discredited himself under cross-examination when he rigmaroled from one point to the other. He prayed the court to hold that the statement was made voluntarily and mark it as evidence in the trial.
During examination and cross-examination, the PW1, SUPOL Raphael Ezechi, told the court that the third accused person volunteered information to the investigation team after the video clip was played to him at the police station. He insisted that the third person was not coerced or induced to make his statement.
The judge later adjourned the matter to May 22 and June 12, respectively, for ruling on the statement and continuation of trial.
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